I just “bought” my first .1 Dash about five minutes ago on a currency exchange you may not have heard of.
Meet Uphold, an exchange for both fiat and digital currencies — and even precious metals. Uphold announced Tuesday that the company now includes Dash (digital cash) in its lineup.
I first heard of Uphold as an exchange for Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT), which you can use in the Brave browser to support your favorite sites and YouTubers directly. Brave has since added a simple, step-by-step guide for loading funds into the browser so it can calculate where to send tokens (now worth about 19 cents apiece) based on where you spend most of your time online. As an early adopter of BAT, Uphold is helping reform the busted world of online ads — where a sizeable chunk of your time, data, and thus money goes toward loading irrelevant and often malicious content (see: the BAT white paper, p. 4, section 2.2).
Since that first impression, Uphold has continued to impress — as I have looked for ways to exchange USD -> Dash and hit roadblocks every time. I guess you can on Kraken, if you don’t mind having the lack of ACH functionality. It only means that you give them your bank info, then you “initiate” a deposit, then they give you a reference number… so you have to call up your bank and give them Kraken’s info to wire it — for a pretty big fee.
Then there are a bunch of peer-to-peer services out there, but I don’t really want the crapshoot of searching for a new seller every time, especially if I’m going to do multiple exchanges a month for dollar cost averaging.
So, like I said, I just acquired Dash with a simple bank transfer — and my fee was only $.46. Uphold is halving their fee rate to welcome Dash into their stable of currencies; normally it’s 1.25% but for a short time it will only be .625%. Yet even the normal rate is lower than their big competitors.
What else can you exchange at Uphold?
Right now, the site also lets you exchange your local fiat currency for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, BAT, and Bitcoin Cash. You can also buy gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. They accept and exchange the fiat currencies of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, the UAE, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, the UK, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA.
In case you’re wondering: This is not a sponsored article; I have never spoken with anyone at Uphold; and, as far as I know, they have no referral program like Coinbase. I’m just sharing my personal experience with the service.
Why do I keep pushing Dash?
Well, until today, I didn’t have any stake in Dash, but I’ve written about it before because I see a lot of future potential. All digital currencies are still in their infancy — and Bitcoin is showing us that the technology is not quite ready for full-scale adoption. Dash seems like a well-designed system for long-term growth and development; I keep explaining it to people as the constitutional republic to Bitcoin’s anarchist paradise — three “branches” imbued with complementary powers that can check each other.
With Bitcoin, every time the blockchain gets another block, the block processes transfers between users and miners get 100% of the fees and unlocked coins. There is only a financial incentive to mine Bitcoin — or to exchange USD for Bitcoin and watch it rise in value (referred to as “hodling”).
But with Dash, there is a financial incentive to mine, to invest, and — most importantly — to code. The block rewards for Dash go: 45% to miners, 45% to masternodes (why just hodl when you can “nodl”?), and 10% to developers.
The volunteers working on Bitcoin Core are likely very motivated to be a part of history and to make sure that their existing investment scales and improves, but they are not regularly and directly receiving new coins for their work. The Dash Core team is a traditional company with over 50 employees, and with the recent spike in Dash’s value, they have a monthly budget worth millions of dollars for payroll, marketing, and other expenses.
I wouldn’t personally dump my Bitcoin for Dash — there won’t (and shouldn’t) be a monopoly on blockchain currencies once they come into mass adoption. Based on what I’m seeing right now, it seems like Bitcoin and Monero are going to become everyone’s savings accounts while Dash, Litecoin, Zcash, and Ripple will compete to be their checking accounts. But of course, I’m just a layman, not a financial professional, and you shouldn’t buy any product I write about based on my opinions — it’s not financial advice!